Strategies for socializing as an adult newcomer to Canada
By Amy Fournier
Posted on April 19, 2021
Making friends as an adult can be quite challenging. As a newcomer, it can be even more difficult to find friends with whom to spend time without having prior connections. School is a great place to meet people, but don’t be discouraged if you are no longer a student and are having trouble building relationships. There are still plenty of ways to meet new people and find where you belong. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind if you are looking to develop long-lasting friendships in Canada.
There’s an app for that
A lot of Canadians use apps such as Tinder, Hinge, or Bumble when looking for people to date. The Newcomer has an article on online dating that provides a list of apps you can use to connect with other singles. However, there are also tons of free apps available to help you find new friends as well. Like some dating apps, Bumble BFF allows you to swipe through profiles of people in the area and match with the ones that are interesting. Many people on the app specify what they are looking for on their profile—whether that is a fitness friend, someone to grab coffee with, or a person to go see concerts with. If you match with someone on the app, start a conversation and see where it takes you. You have the option to be picky with who you decide to meet, so feel free to browse your options!
Seek out clubs
There are so many different clubs that exist and cater to all interests. A great way to explore the range of clubs in your area is through joining a platform such as Meetup. This website has different categories such as Photography, Book Clubs, Sci-fi and Games, Pets, Fashion and Beauty, Health and Wellness, among many others. Whether you are interested in rock climbing, playing Dungeons & Dragons, or reading manga, there are sure to be other people who share that hobby. Events are posted under each group, and you can indicate if you plan to attend. You can also join community centre events, library book clubs, and local community organizations to meet people in your area with similar interests.
Take an improv class
Improv (short for improvisation) is a type of performance that requires no pre-planned action, unlike regular performed theatre. Joining an improv workshop requires that you work closely with others. It can boost your self-confidence, help you develop public speaking skills, and better your interactions and relationships with others, according to The Second City, a comedy club located in Toronto. Even if you aren’t the most outgoing person, you may enjoy working with others in a non-professional atmosphere.
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community and meet other charitable people. There are many non-profit organizations that are always looking for a helping hand. Volunteer Toronto has plenty of open positions around the Greater Toronto Area.
Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone
It can be really easy to stick with communities that you know once you arrive in Canada. However, this country is filled with diversity, and there is so much to learn by celebrating different cultures and ethnicities. Francisco Campos, a software engineer at CIBC, stressed the importance of expanding your social circle as an adult newcomer from Mexico to Canada.
“When I got here, my family had friends of friends who were also Mexican,” he said. “A lot of Mexican immigrants tend to establish relationships among them mostly because of the language and culture. Some immigrants avoid contact with external cultures or even the government due to their status or limited linguistic skills.” Getting out of your comfort zone and associating with different people gives you the chance to practice your social skills.
There are many resources available in Canada that make it possible to connect with a variety of people. It may take some time, but cultivating a network of friends as a newcomer is achievable with a bit of patience and persistence.